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WTA Brisbane 2019 Player Field: Defending champion, Elina Svitolina leads all-star cast to Brisbane for the start of the 2019 WTA season

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 30 Nov 2018
  • Defending champion, Elina Svitolina leads a high-quality field into the WTA season-opener in Brisbane
  • Naomi Osaka, Sloane Stephens, Karolina Pliskova, Petra Kvitova among other top-ten stars set to open the year in Brisbane
  • WTA Brisbane International is live from Brisbane from 31 December, 2018 to 6 January, 2019
Elina Svitolina. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Defending champion, Elina Svitolina leads a star-studded field at the Brisbane International, with seven of the world’s top-ten stars set to compete at the WTA Premier tournament.

Svitolina only just scraped into last season's WTA Finals in the week before the season-ending finale, and wasn't considered as one of the favourites for the title, but the Ukrainian produced arguably the best week of her career to claim her biggest title, going undefeated throughout the tournament.

The WTA Finals title was the perfect ending to another consistent campaign from Svitolina, who had earlier won titles in Brisbane, Dubai and Rome. The 24-year-old old will now attempt to emulate the woman she dethroned as WTA Finals champion, Caroline Wozniacki, who backed up success in Singapore with Grand Slam glory in the following year.

For all her excellence at the WTA Premier tournaments, Svitolina has continually faltered at the majors, as she is yet to go beyond the quarterfinals at any of the Grand Slams- can she correct that in 2019?

The Ukrainian has reached at least the semifinals in each of her last three visits to Brisbane, including last year's run to the title, and she will hope to keep that going next year as she targets a strong start to the new campaign.

If Svitolina is to defend her Brisbane title, she will have to do it the hard way, given the quality of the 2019 field.

Naomi Osaka. (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US Open champion, Naomi Osaka joins the Brisbane field for the first time, as she begins the sizeable task of backing up her career-best 2018 season. The Japanese young gun scripted arguably the story of the season with her superb surge to the US Open title- where she cleaned out the field for the loss of just one set, and clinically closed out the great Serena Williams in the final. It was her second title of the season, as she had earlier produced a similarly swashbuckling run to the Indian Wells title. Osaka’s season ended in disappointment at the WTA Finals, where she lost all three round robin matches, but the 20-year-old wasn't quite 100% in Singapore. With the benefit of the off-season, the young gun will be refreshed and rearing to go in the new campaign, and if she's on in Brisbane, she will be hard to stop.

Unlike Osaka, Sloane Stephens did have a good WTA Finals, falling just short of the title against Svitolina in the championship match. Defeat against Svitolina took Stephens’ record in tour-level finals to 1-3 in 2018, having being 6-0 at the start of the year.

The American won her only title of the year in Miami- her first at Premier Mandatory level- while she lost finals at Roland Garros and Montreal, both to Simona Halep, and the aforementioned Singapore defeat. Stephens returns to Brisbane for the first time since 2013, when she made the quarter finals (lost to Serena Williams).

Two-time Wimbledon champion, Petra Kvitova is also back in Brisbane for the first time since 2013, as she bids for her second title at the tournament, a first since 2011. Kvitova raked in five WTA titles last season, reestablishing her position amongst the cream of the women's game after spending all of 2017 outside the top ten. She missed almost half of that season while she recovered from the infamous knife attack she suffered at her home in December 2016. She's back now, and winning titles again, and will be one of the women to beat in Brisbane.

Former champion, Karolina Pliskova carries genuine title credentials, so does Russian young gun, Daria Kasatkina, who is in Brisbane for the third straight year. Dutchwoman, Kiki Bertens will also fancy her chances, following her terrific 2018.

Anastasija Sevastova will again attempt to carve out a deep run, while Daria Gavrilova and Sam Stosur will carry the bulk of the home responsibility.

British No. 1, Johanna Konta gets her 2019 season off in Brisbane, looking to retrace her steps to the top bracket of the sport after slipping away in a disappointing 2018, while Kristina Mladenovic, Anett Kontaveit, and Elise Mertens are also part of a field that oozes quality in almost every direction.

WTA Brisbane Player Field (Highest-ranked players confirmed so far)

WTA Brisbane Player Field

1Elina Svitolina4Ukraine
2Naomi Osaka5Japan
3Sloane Stephens6USA
4Petra Kvitova7Czech Republic
5Karolina Pliskova8Czech Republic
6Kiki Bertens9Netherlands
7Daria Kasatkina10Russia
8Anastasija Sevastova11Latvia

WTA Brisbane Tournament Information

WTA Brisbane fast facts

WTA BrisbaneBrisbane International
DatesDecember 31 to January 6
VenueQueensland Tennis Centre
LocationBrisbane, Australia
First Played2009
Draw Size32
CategoryWTA Premier
Prize Money$1,000,000
Reigning Singles ChampionElina Svitolina
Reigning Doubles ChampionKiki Bertens/Demi Schuurs

WTA Brisbane International is live from Brisbane from 31 December, 2018 to 6 January, 2019.

*Geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify

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WTA Brisbane 2019 Player Field: Defending champion, Elina Svitolina leads all-star cast to Brisbane for the start of the 2019 WTA season

Defending champion, Elina Svitolina leads all-star cast into Brisbane for the start of the 2019 WTA season. WTA Brisbane International is live from Brisbane from 31 December, 2018 to 6 January, 2019.

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